Digest Allvoice Developments US, LLC v. Microsoft Corp., No. 2014-1258 (Fed. Cir. May 22, 2015) (nonprecedential). On appeal from W.D. Wash. Before Prost, Dyk, and O’Malley.
Procedural Posture: Plaintiff appealed the District Court’s grant of summary judgment of noninfringement and summary judgment of invalidity of claims 60-68 as not being patentable subject matter under 35 U.S.C. § 101. CAFC affirmed.
- Infringement: The District Court’s decision to exclude Allvoice’s infringement theory at the summary judgment stage was not an abuse of discretion. In its infringement contentions, Allvoice identified Microsoft’s SAPI Server as meeting the “link data” claim limitation of the asserted patent claims. Allvoice later conceded that only a “TSF property store” satisfies the “link data” limitation but claimed that it sufficiently disclosed that the link data is stored in the TSF, because the SAPI Server includes the TSF. The District Court ruled that, pursuant to the local patent rules, Allvoice was required to explicitly reference the TSF. Allvoice’s reference to the SAPI Server was insufficient to satisfy its notice obligation under the Local Patent Rules.
- Infringement: The District Court’s decision to deny Allvoice’s motion to amend its infringement contentions was not an abuse of discretion. Allvoice moved to amend its infringement contentions four months after the District Court issued its Markman order and nineteen months after the parties filed a joint claim chart of disputed terms. The District Court found no reason for the delay and denied Allvoice leave to amend its contentions, because Allvoice did not show diligence in amending its contentions.
- Patent Eligibility: The asserted claims were directed to “interface applications” and were thus limited to software. During appeal, Allvoice attempted to clarify that the claimed interfaces were “software instructions.” The Court held that a claim to software instructions without any hardware limitations is not directed to a tangible article or any of the other statutory categories of inventions identified in 35 U.S.C. § 101 and thus not patentable. In response to Allvoice’s argument that the claimed software must necessarily be in “a machine readable, physical state in order to exist,” the Court declined to import or imply a tangible medium into the claims since they failed to recite, or reference, any such medium.